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 I might be making a start soon.

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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: I might be making a start soon.   Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:38 pm

I've dallied too long and want to run some trains. Alas no track laid at all and I still ain't formulated a plan for a proper layout. So what I intend is a raised track , simple loop to get started. Now then re: trackbed, Leroy Merlin have these 2.4m lengths of decking at about 2.75 a throw I think its 19mm thick and is greenish/grey so I figure its tanalised.

Would this stuff be any good for a couple of years without warping and without further bracing ? I need to keep it very simple and also quick to do or else I will lose interest.

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Patrick
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:12 pm

If it's what I think it is from Leroy Merlin and the same as up here you should be all right for a good few years.
I used some of this decking about 5 years ago (meant for patios/terraces). It is in contact with the ground and has shown no signs of rotting.
Some of it has warped ever so slightly over long lengths but nothing to stop trains running.

Mine is on round wooden posts sunk into the ground about every 75cms on the straight and 50-60 cms curved. It doesnt have any bracing.
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:49 pm

Thanks Carl that is exactly the way I was thinking of doing it to start with The area I intend to use can get quite wet and my bones won't allow me to bend far so it seems like it might be worth a try. I gotta 29.50 Leroy Merlin voucher to get me started so I hope to go tomorrow. Wont be able to start the works until end of Sept due to (yet more) holidays.

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Patrick
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GWhizz



Location : Charente, France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:40 am

Patrick

make sure you use treated boards and as thick as possible, the deck boards should be good if you can support them evenly.

I used untreated 20mm boards that I had for shuttering and treated them myself with creosote substitute from Wicks (which was about three years old). and only supported them every 1.5 metres or so - result they are warping already (six months). Trains still run OK (I have loose laid track with Massoth joiners that iron out irregularities) but I plan to replace them this winter either with proper deck boards and closer posts or go the whole hog and build a concrete viaduct.

However if you want a quick fix to get trains running and avoid bending over too much, the boards and posts route is ideal!


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Brian
Brian
also blogging at
www.frenchgardenrailways.com
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:24 am

Thanks Brian, I suppose this question has been asked before but how do you keep the grass trimmed, especially the ground level track ? Is it a hover mower perhaps ?

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Patrick
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:58 am

pjti wrote:
Thanks Brian, I suppose this question has been asked before but how do you keep the grass trimmed, especially the ground level track ? Is it a hover mower perhaps ?

I would be cautious with a bladed mower as LGB track is not completely indestructable. My friend Denis managed to destroy some on his ground level section and wreck the mower too.

If you don't have ballast or ballast is glued down you can use a strimmer but be careful with your eyes as there is always one loose stone.

I also use small rechargeable garden shears, in French 'cisaille sans fils' available in Leroy Merlin for about 40 upwards.
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:15 am

I made sure there was a wide border alongside the track and just cut it with ordinary mower with grassbox on. the difficult to reach bits I use small hand shears or weedkiller

Mikey
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GWhizz



Location : Charente, France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:04 pm

pjti wrote:
Thanks Brian, I suppose this question has been asked before but how do you keep the grass trimmed, especially the ground level track ? Is it a hover mower perhaps ?

Good advice above - you do need to be careful.

I have a small Qualcast electric rotary mower brought from England.
To be honest with it set at 35mm I run over the grass, tracks and all, the plastic side skirts keep it off the track if it bottoms and it has the advantage of hoovering up the leaves and debris. Although the grass has hardly been touched in August it's been so dry!

The only serious damage I did to track was hitting it side on with the nose of a wheelbarrow load of rocks, (I normally wheel a barrow across no problem!) I managed to regauge it from 45mm to 35mm which was very interesting as I hadn't noticed the damage - my Mallet took it in it's stride and stayed on track but the remaining 5 coaches took a flyer. It took some serious bashing with two sledge hammers and checking with a gauging tool to restore it

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Brian
also blogging at
www.frenchgardenrailways.com
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:20 pm

Well today I made my first purchase of planks and some round stakes. So hopefully I will do something with them, I don't know if I can get creosote here, I did wonder about old engine oil or even old cooking oil - I like to save the planet. Bit worried about warping too, but if she keeps threatening to change houses again it's the only way.

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Patrick
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:25 pm

Old engine oil will treat the wood as good as anything but watch out for the fire risk if you're live steaming!

Mikey
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fm12



Location : 87210 Haute Vienne, France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:54 pm

Patrick if you are going to use concrete to hold the posts in position,use a dry mix it takes a little longer to go off but you will not have water attacking your newly treated posts.As Mikey says used engine is good for treating timber.
Also Patrick its a good idea to use a sheltered part of your line as a setting up/steamup area.One member I will not mention,thought it would be a Gee Whizz of a idea to have a steam up area in the full sun.


Last edited by fm12 on Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hagen



Location : Kongsberg, Norway

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:14 am

mikeyh wrote:
I made sure there was a wide border alongside the track and just cut it with ordinary mower with grassbox on. the difficult to reach bits I use small hand shears or weedkiller

Mikey
I'll second that, it really helps to have the border. The same as recommended around flower beds, 10 cm where the grass doesn't grow saves you a lot of extra work.
Something like this/ perhaps? I wish I found out about this product sooner.
But it will come in handy when I get around to crossing the lawn (enter twilight zone theme music).
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:25 am

Good advice and also allow plenty of extra space when planting trees and bushes.

My trees are far too close now. They looked all right a few years ago, little miniature things but now they're too big. Never trust the (French) garden centres.....Bah ouais, bien sr c'est un conifer nain.... scratch
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:16 am

Keep it coming - I have another question.

I did get 100cm posts, thinking it would give me about 60 - 70 cms height, but on reflection this might be too high, unnecessarily so. I've got to keep it of the ground because it gets very wet during the Spanish monsoon season. So what is a good height ? I am not allowed to make it too permanent so won't be using concrete to set the posts so a shorter post would be less "wobbly". I am also thinking that if I cut the posts in half I will get twice as many, how far in should I bang the posts.

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:41 am

Patrick, if it's to be 'temporary' then as an alternative to concreting, can you not avail yourself of some metal post brackets - in UK I only know one trade name, 'Met-Post' but there are probably others. Basically, a metal spike about a 18 inches long, with a housing that will receive the wooden post which can be secured with bolts, or screws or similar. It will add to your up-front costs I guess, but I can vouch for the fact that even 'treated' wood will ultimately suffer if banged straight into potentially wet soil - which may end up costing you even more.

In terms of height, I guess a good height is one where you don't end up cursing yourself for the pain you feel in your knees/back etc from constantly bending down whilst sorting your line out, or steaming up your loco, or whatever! By way of an extreme example, I have seen a layout built on a raised surface that were at waist height, and because of some clever planting of conifers, you would not have known the line was on stilts!

From the Archive

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Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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fm12



Location : 87210 Haute Vienne, France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:42 pm

pjti wrote:
Keep it coming - I have another question.

I did get 100cm posts, thinking it would give me about 60 - 70 cms height, but on reflection this might be too high, unnecessarily so. I've got to keep it of the ground because it gets very wet during the Spanish monsoon season. So what is a good height ? I am not allowed to make it too permanent so won't be using concrete to set the posts so a shorter post would be less "wobbly". I am also thinking that if I cut the posts in half I will get twice as many, how far in should I bang the posts.


I would not bang the posts in at all,rather dig or bore holes and backfill after placing in the posts.Also don`t try and level the posts before installation,its far better to string a level line across them and cut to suit when in position.


Caveat.This advice is coming from someone who has only built 00 indoors,but I`ve just started (ok about to start)building outside,part on retaining walls and part on posts.

Van
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fm12



Location : 87210 Haute Vienne, France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:47 pm

pjti wrote:
Keep it coming - I have another question.

I am also thinking that if I cut the posts in half I will get twice as many, .



Just reread your post Patrick,how do you come to that conclusion bounce



Van
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:50 pm

Patrick. I would use a post hole borer obtainable from Leroy Merlin or a good agricultural tool merchants.

I have one of 70cm diameter and I bored down about 25-30cms then tapped in another 10-15cms. It's important to try and keep them truly vertical even if just for looks.

As Van said you can cut them to suit after and the tops don't necessarily need to be too level or even straight if you are using longitudinal battens attached to the posts. Then put your base/planks on the straight and level battens
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:08 pm

I guess with all this virtual help I don't have much excuse NOT to get on with it.

However first stumbling block - no used engine oil.
stumbling block no.2 - babel fish says creosote is "creosota" so off I go to garden shop - they hadn't a clue what I was after even though I wrote it down - lovely young girl tho' have to go back there sometime.

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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hagen



Location : Kongsberg, Norway

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:37 pm

pjti wrote:
stumbling block no.2 - babel fish says creosote is "creosota" so off I go to garden shop - they hadn't a clue what I was after even though I wrote it down - lovely young girl tho' have to go back there sometime.
Is creosote even legal anymore? It contains basicly all the nasties you really do not want to come in contact with.
I would prefer pressure treated stuff myself.
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:12 pm

I think creosote may still be legal in a few Spanish tapas bars Rune. lol!
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:07 pm

Dunno if it's legal or not , can't find any to see.

Even when it was banned in UK we could still get it easily in Ireland.


The canned Guiness here tastes like creosote so you could be right Carl. Think I'll drain the sumps on me bikes - don't use em anyway.

_________________
Wake me up by noon please.

Patrick
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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:27 am

Just go into a garage with an empty can(s) and ask for some old engine oil. I got 75 litres that way to do our fence posts.they were only too pleased to get rid of it.

Mikey


Last edited by mikeyh on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bearcastle



Location : Brie

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:40 am

The creosote is now forbidden in use or buying for people, only company use could still use it with lot's of restriction.

Here a link :


http://www.gtif.fr/pdf/Creosote.PDF
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pjti



Location : Galizano, nr Santander, Nth Spain

PostSubject: Re: I might be making a start soon.   Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:01 am

Therew as a lot of good input to this thread so I thought I would continue with it rather than start a new one.



Six months later I have finally made a small start despite the fact that I bought the wood last November.

That was the first mistake really, a good 50% of my boards have not so much warped as twisted beyond use as track bed. I can probaly use it as firewood or something.


Second thing, erm, dunno how this happened really, the boards are a bit erm narrow.
Based on the known fact that we run 45mm track I bought 90mm boards, thinking that it would give me a nice "spare" 45 mm clearance. Reality is that 45mm track is pretty close to 90mm wide, mmmmmmmm.

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Patrick
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